Hella Norcal Dopeness >>> TD ProAm Rd. 4
Only one word can describe this event: Incredible. And I mean that in the original sense of the word. It wasn’t just amazing, but some things happened that I wouldn’t believe if I hadn’t seen them for myself. The day was full of upsets, tragedies, and triumph. With only two rounds to go, the top drivers knew they had to keep it together or risk losing everything.
Organizer Geoff Pitts and 2nd ranked driver Gabe Stone greeted points leader Jason Bostrom when he showed up at Thunderhill. They were all psyched for this day!
Tim Durkee was back with NOS models and NOS bottles to keep everyone cool and entertained when the track was cold.
Lex King came with a new Fatlace sponsorship, making him and Joe McGuigan teammates.
Lex’s son Jaylen had his own set of wheels, and he can probably ride better than you can. The kid is nuts.
Adam Swan cut his finger and fashioned a drifter’s bandage for it out of a paper towel and some electrical tape. Rad.
I caught Marcus Fry smoochin on his woman. He caught me catching him too.
Aaron Conklin discussed strategy with his dad.
Rob Webber and his crew struggled to get a lug nut off of a freely-spinning stud. They eventually had to cut the rim off the spokes and cut the stud off with a hacksaw. Whoa!
I wasn’t in charge of check-in for once, which was cool since that freed me up to shoot photos! Yes! Elysha Lee was back after a missing a few rounds, but instead of being the starter girl, she wanted a job where she could actually see the action. Luke Lonberger’s girlfriend Melissa, who usually keeps track of the scores, just got a new job at eBay and couldn’t make it, so Elysha filled in as scorekeeper. How convenient!
Out on track during the practice session, Swan’s bandage didn’t seem to be hindering his performance too much.
Marcus Fry and Tyler Xiong found it hard to stay on the track though.
I don’t think I’d seen someone go that far off Turn 3 since Calvin Wan did it in Luke Lonberger’s S14 three laps in a row in 2009. LOL!
Gabe Stone was looking rock solid as usual. I was excited to see all of my friends do well, but especially Gabe since no one in a million years would believe his car is competitive. The points standings would tell you otherwise.
McGuigan and King were practicing tandeming with each other all morning.
Once Webber got his stud situation sorted out he was out on track laying it down.
Jason Bostrom was killing it, but I wish he could kill it with all his body panels on. The session was almost over, so with that I decided to head back to the paddock for lunch.
But then Ryan Kado drove by in his Formula D car. He brought it out for some testing, but I guess everything worked, since he was done before I even got back to a good shooting position. Bummer.
Ryan was happy enough to do a handstand with Elysha. Elysha was super excited to see that she did a one-hander.
After lunch I found Xiong and Al Pulido sleeping on a trailer. Al wasn’t driving since Julian Jacobs was using his car. Maybe Al’s car would hold together long enough for Jacobs to finish an event. It is often speculated that he would win if it wasn’t for his cars that break every time.
Swan took this opportunity to pull his fenders a bit more.
Cody Fry brought his guitar along and jammed on some Zeppelin tunes. He introduced himself as Marcus’s niece, but really he’s Marcus’s nephew.
Joe and Justin of Tandem of Die were being ridiculous as usual. Joe just got a 15mm fisheye so Justin wanted to see how fishy he could look.
Who would have guessed that Josh Kravitz could bunny hop? He’s WAY better at it than Dan Cyr.
I facepalmed when Kravitz made his first qualifying run. Luckily he was able to do better on his conservative second run, and landed in the 7th qualifying spot.
Geoff Pitts tried to qualiy in my BF28 Camry, but it wasn’t rear wheel drive enough so he was disqualified.
Stone grabbed the number one spot for the second event in a row. The last driver to do that was Kado in 2010.
Since there were only 14 drivers, Stone and second qualifier Fry got bye runs. The first actual battle was between Aaron Conklin and Lex King, both in FC’s. Both of these guys have had hard luck and neither one had made it out of the Top 16 before. Well, today Conklin made it!
Next up were Jacobs and Xiong. Amazing! Jacobs actually had two complete tandem runs. Not only that, but he got the win and moved on to the Top 8!
This was supposed to be John Corvinus vs. Mike Bratton, but Bratton was nowhere to be seen. He came through half a minute later, but his fate was sealed and Corvinus moved on.
Kravitz must have been taking notes from Bratton, because he did the same thing. I wish I could have seen the start from where I was standing. I really didn’t understand what was causing that kind of gap. Noah Welch got the win in a huge upset! Would Kravitz be able to hang onto his 3rd place standing getting knocked out in the Top 16 two rounds in a row? It didn’t look good.
McGuigan gave it all he had, but it wasn’t enough to get by Jason Bostrom.
Straightening on both runs spelled the end for Rob Webber. Swan had a chance to make up the points he lost in Round 2 when his turbo manifold fell apart.
With what should have been an easy win, Gabe Stone spun on both runs, handing the victory to Aaron Conklin. Stone was devastated and Conklin was ecstatic. Kravitz was relieved that the points chase for 2nd would be that much tighter.
Julian got to demonstrate the results of all those hours spent playing Forza with some D1-style tandems. He got close enough to where he could open his door and hit the other car if he wanted to. Al Pulido’s car was still running and Corvinus didn’t have a chance.
Noah Welch put away one Datsun just to face the other, this time without as much luck. Marcus Fry ran away from Welch mabye a little too hard and broke an axle, but not before securing his spot in the Final Four.
Bostrom gave Webber a similar treatment, though he did it without breaking his car.
Conklin’s winning streak was shut down by Jacobs, but Fry’s broken axle meant Conklin would finish on the podium without having to battle in the Consolation Round.
Jacobs and Bostrom met in the Final Round and this was sure to be an epic battle. They were part of Animal Style at All Star Bash XI last month, which won 3rd in the team tandem compeition. Needless to day, they’d had plenty of practice tandeming together. The judges and crowd watched in tense anticipation. Would Bostrom turn his Round 3 win into the beginning of a winning streak? Or would Jacobs fulfill the prophecy that he’d win if only he had a car that ran right? We all waited to find out.
The advantage went to Jacobs after the first run! Bostrom had to go big or go home!
Jacobs was way in front on his lead run. Bostrom couldn’t pull it off! We had a winner!!
But wait! They were so awesome the judges made them do the first run again just for fun! This time with nothing at stake, it was even more amazing! Jacobs must have been a salesman in a previous life, because he really knew how to go door to door!
Back in the paddock, Conklin was still in disbelief.
Jacobs is so tall that when he raised his arms the NOS models didn’t have to duck. Amazing.
Pitts told the models they were allowed to spray NOS as well. As an added bonus, this kept them in the photos. Otherwise they just run away.
One photo, two angles, priceless.
Joe and Justin can do high fives while doing handstands. How cool is that?
Conklin didn’t even know what to do, he was so happy.
Al Pulido knew what to do. See that look on his face? Oh yes, he knew what to do.
He and Tandem of Joe dumped all the NOS ice on Jacobs, but he was so tall he had to bend over in order to get any on him. Most of it went on his pants.
In retribution, he body slammed Tandem of Joe into the pavement, killing him.
Here are the current points standings after Round 4:
P.S. Tandem of Joe is not really dead.